While traveling in Europe a few summers ago, my wife and I visited several ruins of churches and early Christian settlements.  Kevin’s Kitchen at Glendalough, Ireland was one that really made an impression on me.   As I walked through the ruins, dating from the 10th to 12th century, the words of a verse I had heard long ago: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last,” rang from deep within my soul. 
Shortly after visiting the ruins I decided to put those words on a picture I had taken.  My thought was that it could act as an impactful reminder to myself and others that the days we have left are but the fleeting second of time given us to draw close to God and to make an impact for Christ on this fallen world. 
The people buried at Glendalough have long been forgotten by all who walk this earth. Their weathered grave stones offer but a faint reminder of lives once lived.  
Not knowing the authorship of those penetrating words: “Only One Life…” I did a search and was pleased to find that they likely came from the pen of C.T.  Studd.  C.T. was a 19th century missionary for Christ to China, India and Africa.  A short search led me to an article by Stephen Ross.  In that biographical article Ross pointed out that C.T. Studd was born in England in 1860, one of three sons of a wealthy businessman.  I also learned that upon his father’s death C.T. gave over 90% of his sizable inheritance to effective ministries of the time, including D.L. Moody, George Müller and others.  In addition to giving the majority of his wealth, he gave the even greater gift of himself through years of missionary work to primarily China but also India and Africa.
C.T. Studd believed what he penned, and truly lived the life to prove it.
To all who read this letter; please look closely at the gravestones in the pictures.  The names and dates on most have been washed away through rain, weather, and time.   In a fleeting second compared to eternity, your gravestone will look the same as these, and no one will remember you as they walk through the ruins of a lonely cemetery where your dusty bones lie.  
Please ask yourself the question; where will your eternal soul (now dwelling in your fleshly body) reside when your dusty bones and worn gravestone are all that remain of your long forgotten physical life on this earth?
Another famous quote that you have probably heard goes like this: “He who dies with the most toys wins.”  Christians who have read the Bible know this isn’t true, as God through His Word tells us: “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim. 6:7).   Some of the Pharaohs of old tried by envaulting themselves with things they thought they would need in the afterlife; but of course, this didn’t work. Today, some of the ultra wealthy hope to have their fleshly bodies restarted by having their dead corpses frozen in hopes that it will be resurrected when science breaks the code of life.  That won’t work anymore than the Pharaohs’ schemes worked.  The only truth about death is found in Hebrews 7:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.  The fact is that you can’t live forever in this fleshly body and you can’t take anything with you when you die.  However, the works done for Christ can be sent on ahead and will be waiting for you when you get to Heaven.  A tract left, a person witnessed to, a gesture of kindness or a cup of cold water in Jesus name.  The things that heavenly crowns are made of, can be sent ahead and will be worth the cost a billion times over.  “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Jim Elliot, another great missionary and soul martyred for the cause of Christ once said: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Here, he is of course only speaking of the “crowns” referred to in Rev. 4: 10&11. Jim Elliot knew well and believed Eph. 2:8&9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” That gift of salvation, is a gift from God, to Jim Elliot, C.T. Studd, you, me and all who believe in the true Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible.  Verse 10 makes clear the real purpose of life in this sin-filled decaying world.  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10. “…for what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away”James 4:14.
Let the line below act as an illustration of our time on this earth.  Let the first three dots of the line mark the non-beginning of the time line of eternity, and the three dots at the end mark the non-ending, as the time line for eternity goes on forever.  ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Now imagine the line going out for eternity.  The sun, the stars, the galaxies and on and on forever the line goes.  That never-ending line represents the time of eternity.  Now look carefully at a portion of the never-ending line above.  If your eyes are good enough, about midway you will see a little speck of space, a break in the line.  This speck represents your fraction of a second of allotted time on this earth.  Time you have been given to either throw away, or read the Bible and act on God’s revelation to you.  It represents the short time we have to reject the sin-filled, self-seeking ways of this world and give our life to the One who loves us more than we can even imagine.  He wants us to spend eternity in His loving arms, forever protected from Satan and his ways of sin, deception and greed.  To reject Satan and be with Christ in the glory and splendor of Heaven for eternity will be so worth it all. 
Satan on the other hand spends this present time prowling about the earth “…seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).   In the End-Times there will be more and more false christs, going about the business of their father, the Devil.   Please accept a short homework assignment and go to 2 Thessalonians 2:10 and find out for yourself exactly who Satan will be able to deceive and who he won’t be able to deceive in the End Times.  Your eternal destiny may depend on how you respond to what you learn there.
Please go back and contemplate on the significance of the pictures and the line illustration and how you might apply their messages to your life.  Also, be sure to look up the verse showing who will be deceived, and who won’t be deceived in the End Times when false christs, false prophets and deception increase dramatically.  Matthew 24:24 warns us: “For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”  Now, please take the time to find out exactly who will and who will not be deceived in the End Times.  The verse I am asking you to look up is Second Thessalonians 2:10. Please do it!  I will even start you off with the first half of the verse:  The fourteen words at the end of the verse are all I am asking you to fill in“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; ____________  ___________  ________________  _________ _________________  _____  __________  ____________, _________  ________  __________  _______  ___________.”
With that, here is the promise from God that I will leave you with: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).  For the security of your eternal soul, please don’t tarry in taking God up on this all-important promise. I believe that if you still have one breath left in you and will confess your sins to God, repent from those sins and believe in Christ’s worthy payment for those sins on Calvary’s cross, He will blot out your sin, and that you will one day be able to sing with the angels: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
If you are already a Christian, please download, print and Pass This On to someone who needs to hear its message. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” (Psalm 107:2).